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CNA Schools in Minnesota

Known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota is a state of beautiful contrasts, from crisp, frozen plains in the winter to shimmering lakes filled with fishermen, swimmers, and pontoons in the summer. Minnesota stretches far north and south and experiences all four seasons in vivid detail with autumn being a favorite for its beautiful colors. CNAs in Minnesota get to enjoy the beautiful scenery as well as the excellent compensation and benefits for CNAs in this state. Of the five million plus residents here, over 14 percent of them are over the age of 65 and will most likely be needing the help of a skilled CNA shortly.

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About Minnesota

– Capital: St. Paul
– Minimum Wage: $9.50
– Number of Hospitals: 131
– Number of Nursing Homes: 30,405


– Total Population: 5,457,173
– Population (ages 45-64): 1,470,329
– Population (ages 65+): 780,142
– Population (ages 85+): 116,662

Top Colleges

– Carleton College
– Macalester College
– Saint Olaf College

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in MN

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CNA Program Requirements

Taking the Examination

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

To become a CNA in Minnesota, individuals must first attend a state-approved CNA training program. Most facilities require individuals to have a high school diploma or a GED and to be at least 18 years old. However, some training facilities forego these requirements and only require potential students to pass a basic competency examination to show that they have what it takes to understand and pass the classes. Other requirements for admission to training programs include drug screening, a negative tuberculosis screening, up-to-date immunization records, a criminal background check and fingerprinting.

The Minnesota Department of Health regulates the state’s CNA training classes. Minnesota follows the federal minimum for CNA training hours, which is 75 hours altogether of which 16 hours must be spent in a clinical setting. Minnesota allows two types of training programs. One is put out by the American Red Cross, and the other is developed by Minnesota State Colleges Universities. Some programs include home health aide training simultaneously. The classes cover a variety of nurse aide theory and tasks, including basic nursing care, patient nutrition, vital signs and patient safety.

On the other hand, Minnesota residents may choose to forego CNA training and just challenge the state’s CNA examination. However, individuals who complete training have a much greater chance of passing the examination and have the advantage of being able to work as a CNA for 120 hours while they become certified.

The Minnesota Department of Health uses Pearson VUE to administer the certification examination, called the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program. The test is administered at several different testing sites in the state. Pearson VUE charges a fee of $64 for the full examination; the testing facility may charge an additional fee.

The Minnesota CNA test consists of two parts. The knowledge exam tests classroom knowledge. Students must pass this test by 75 percent. The written test includes 70 multiple-choice questions. Those who prefer to take the knowledge portion orally will face 60 multiple-choice questions as well as ten additional basic comprehension questions. Students are given up to two hours for this part.

The second part of the examination is the clinical skills portion, which tests five randomly selected CNA skills that must be performed in 30 minutes or less. One skill is always hand washing. These skills will be performed in front of an evaluator using the help of a volunteer actor.

Some Minnesota test sites allow applicants to walk in on the day of the test without pre-registering while other sites require pre-registering. Applicants must bring two forms of ID as well as all required fees, the completed application, a watch with a second hand, No. 2 pencils and an eraser. Those who do not pass the first time will only need to retake the section that they failed. Applicants are given up to three total chances to pass before being required to retrain.

CNAs who are moving to Minnesota from another state have the option of reciprocity in which Minnesota transfers their certification into the state. CNAs must be in good standing with their previous state and will need to undergo a criminal background check. They also must be able to prove that they have worked at least eight hours as a CNA within the past 24 months.

To apply, CNAs must fill out the endorsement application provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, include a copy of their current certification and attach a pay stub or W-2. They will then need to send it into their prior state for verification before it is sent on to Minnesota. The process is free.

Minnesota CNAs must renew their certifications every two years. Minnesota sends out a renewal reminder, but CNAs must keep their addresses up-to-date on the Department of Health’s registry. To renew, CNAs must have a clean record without accusations of patient abuse or neglect and must be able to prove that they have worked for pay as a CNA at least eight hours in the past 24 months. CNAs who are not working in a nursing home or home health agency must include a copy of their job description for renewal. Renewal is free but does take 30 days to process. Those who do not renew in time may not be allowed to work in the 30 days that it takes to process the paperwork.


Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota Board of Nursing
Minnesota Nurses Aide Information
Nurses Aide License Verification


Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry
P.O. Box 64501
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0501
Email: [email protected]

Employment Information for Minnesota

Average Salary for CNAs in MN

A CNA makes a reasonable wage in Minnesota at an average of $13.36 per hour. This comes out to an average yearly salary of just over $27,000, which is approximately $3,000 less than the average Minnesotan earns. A CNA, who works in a hospital, may make more than one who works in a nursing home and may receive more healthcare, dental and other types of benefits as well.

Job Outlook in MN

The number of CNA jobs is projected to grow in Minnesota over the next one to two decades as much of the population continues to age, needing the expert physical care that a CNA can provide. Currently, over 14 percent of the population is 65 or older, and over 1.4 million people are between the ages of 45 to 65.

Employment Opportunities

Top Healthcare Facilities in Minnesota
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
Mayo Clinic200 S. W. First StreetRochesterMN55905507-284-2511Website
Abbott Northwestern Hospital800 East 28th StreetMinneapolisMN55407612-863-4000Website
St. Cloud Hospital1406 Sixth Avenue NorthSaint CloudMN56303320-251-2700Website
University Of Minnesota Medical Center2450 Riverside AvenueMinneapolisMN55454612-672-6000Website
Mercy Hospital4050 Coon Rapids BoulevardCoon RapidsMN55433763-236-6000Website
Woodwinds Health Campus1925 Woodwinds DriveWoodburyMN55125651-232-0228Website
North Memorial Hospital3300 Oakdale Avenue NorthRobbinsdaleMN55422763-520-5200Website
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital6500 Excelsior BoulevardSaint Louis ParkMN55426952-993-5000Website
St. John'S Hospital1575 Beam AvenueSaint PaulMN55109651-232-7000Website
St. Joseph'S Hospital45 West 10th StreetSaint PaulMN55102651-232-3000Website
Unity Hospital550 Osborne Road NEFridleyMN55432763-236-5000Website
Albany Area Hospital And Medical Center300 Third AvenueAlbanyMN56307320-845-2121Not Available
Albert Lea Medical Center404 West Fountain StreetAlbert LeaMN56007507-373-2384Website
Anoka-Metropolitan Regional Treatment Center3301 Seventh AvenueAnokaMN55303651-431-5000Website
Appleton Area Health Services30 South Behl StreetAppletonMN56208320-289-2422Website
Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center300 South Bruce StreetMarshallMN56258507-532-9661Website
Bethesda Hospital559 Capitol BoulevardSaint PaulMN55103651-232-2000Website
Bigfork Valley Hospital258 Pine Tree DriveBigforkMN56628218-743-3177Website
Buffalo Hospital303 Catlin StreetBuffaloMN55313763-682-1212Website
Cambridge Medical Center701 South Dellwood StreetCambridgeMN55008763-689-7700Website

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